Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
Who: LSU Tigers (13-4,2-2) @ Florida Gators (10-7,3-1)
When: Tuesday, January 20 - 6:00PM
Where: Stephen C O'Connell Center (12,000, 58th NCAA) - Gainesville, FL
***TV: ESPN (Super Tuesday)
***Radio: 98.1FM

With 10 minutes remaining against Texas A&M on Satruday, it looked like LSU was destined to start SEC play 3-1. Unfortunately, LSU struggled to finish the game and fell 67-64 to the Aggies after shooting only 1/13 from three in the second half. In Florida's last game, they never had a lead at Georgia and fell by 12. Yet, this is a game that both teams desperately need.

Florida likes to play at a methodical pace. LSU on the other hand have the sixth fastest pace in the country. Which style of play wins out in this one? LSU should hope to speed the game up, because Florida is very capable of shutting down LSU in the halfcourt.

Projected Starting Lineups:

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Florida has won the last six meetings between the two teams and are the home team, yet LSU has reason to be confident. Florida already has two home losses. One to Miami and one to UCONN. Also, while the SEC has historically been a very tough league to win on the road, home teams are currently only winning 60.7% of the time, which makes it only the 12th toughest conference to win on the road. Last year, home teams won 69.8% of the time.

Matchup to Watch:

The past few years, this game has been a matchup of power vs power with Johnny O'Bryant and Patric Young going at it in the post. This year's biggest matchup comes from the perimeter as two of the top shooting forwards in the league collide. Florida's Dorian Finney-Smith leads Florida in scoring (13.9), rebounding (5.4), and three point percentage (40%), while LSU's Jarell Martin leads the Tigers in scoring (16.6) and is secod on the team in rebounding (8.9).

Keys to the Game:

Protecting Possession: LSU has been careless on offense when it comes to turnovers. Florida turns opponents over on over 23% of their possessions (21st NCAA). The Tigers will be in for a long night if they cannot keep possession.

Transition Points: LSU occasionally struggles in halfcourt sets, especially against a zone which I'm sure Florida will run against an LSU team struggling to hit threes. LSU has been good in transition and must take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.

Protecting the Paint: Florida shoots 52% from inside the three point line. Jordan Mickey has been a shot blocking machine in SEC play and needs to continue to make guards question themselves in the lane. Winning the paint is an absolute must to win in the O'Connell Center.


Florida 68, LSU 64
Filed Under: LSU Basketball


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